Practical Tips to Holding Critical Conversations around Money and Intimacy
There will come a time when you and your partner would need to “have that talk”. The kind that both of you might find uncomfortable and difficult to talk about. These are critical conversations that may lead you to feel sad, hurt, enraged, annoyed and defensive.
Making an effort to initiate these conversations mean that you care enough for your partner’s feelings and wellbeing more than your own. Just like in any intimate relationships, one of the biggest uphill battles that couples go through is dealing with such conversations without feeling overwhelmed and defensive. You may begin with the best intentions, however, any wrong approach may upset your partner. When this pattern persists over time, it can drain whatever love and respect you have for one another.
With that being said, it’s important to adopt a positive mindset when discussing complicated topics. They key here is to choose your battles wisely and to differentiate issues that are important and petty. Understand each other’s point of view by listening actively and don’t blame nor criticize each other.
Keep in mind, while these topics may seem challenging at the moment, having the ability to discuss them will strengthen your relationship and make these conversations easier in the future. Instead of avoiding topics you would rather not talk about, use these practical tips to prepare yourself head-on.
Steps to Approaching Critical Conversations with Your Partner
Whether these issues are about money, career, family, sex or household tasks, you will have to deal with these difficult conversations eventually. The entire premise of this post is to help couples ease into difficult conversations without losing the love and consideration for each other. So, here are 5 effective tips you can follow to overcome your differences and discuss even the most uncomfortable topics you may have.
Understand that avoiding difficult topics is unproductive and may aggravate the situation.
Having a cool-off period can help simmer down emotions and provide enough time for couples to deal with the issue later on. However, when couples delay these issues for too long, they risk the chance of resolving them.
Say your spouse has a habit of not helping you with the household chores. However, you find this to be a non-issue and decided not to talk about it. Until one day, you are inundated with so much work that you blow up into anger without any warning. This has now intensified to another level, dragging other unsettled issues in the process.
What started as a relatively minor annoyance lead to a huge fight that’s now hard to resolve. Instead of letting this affect you negatively, acknowledge that this issue is important to you and open this up with your partner as soon as possible.
Keep a calm demeanor and let your partner know that you want to discuss something.
You may want to choose the best time and place where both of you can devote your full attention to the topic. Some couples find it best to discuss something inside a private room without any distractions.
Timing is also important. You can’t expect your partner to be available immediately if they’re not ready to talk. Allow your partner some time to think about the topic, but don’t postpone it for a long time. Ideally, 48 hours should be great.
Don’t mislead your partner by inviting him or her to a dinner date only to have the discussion later on. Pick a schedule that’s convenient, when both of you are in the right mindset to talk and don’t have other plans that may cut the conversation short.
Start the conversation with respect and consideration.
Clarify that while this topic can be touchy or difficult to talk about, you acknowledge that both of you have different perspectives and you want to work together to understand these differences.
During the conversation, maintain that eye contact. Make sure to listen to your partner’s side to understand, not because you want to push a counter argument to their statement. While the other person is talking, don’t interrupt nor talk down on them.
Be accountable for your actions.
When you focus the conversation on changing your partner, you miss the chance to work together to find a solution. Steer the conversation on the issue at hand instead of bringing the spotlight on your partner’s deficiencies.
When expressing your feelings, use “I” or “my” statements. In this way, you are inviting your partner to respond positively without pushing them away or make them feel defensive. Example: “I would like to talk about my feelings about how we’re so busy that we don’t have time for each other anymore.” This avoids pointing all the blame to your partner and makes him or her feel that you’re taking responsibility for the problem.
Apologize when your actions hurt your partner, whether or not this was done intentionally. Get to the point without making any excuses. For example, you might say, “I’m sorry that I almost wiped out our savings on this new gadget without consulting you. I promise I won’t do it again.” Doing this validates your partner’s feelings, allows forgiveness and for both of you to move on.
Negotiate on shared goals.
Once both of you have the opportunity to speak about the issue, it’s time to figure out what’s next. Ask yourselves: what are your expectations now that we know each other’s feelings? Is there something that you can agree to work on together?
Nothing is more satisfying about the discussion than knowing that you’ve agreed on a plan of action. So, it’s important that you don’t control the discussion with a predetermined result in your head. The more emotional and sensitive the conversation gets, the more you need to agree on goals that consider each other’s feelings and perspectives.
We’re all in this together
As you try to work out the issues outlined in your conversation, remind yourself that you’re all in this together. This isn’t a competition and there certainly won’t be winners or losers. Instead, it is about working as a team and coming out stronger no matter the circumstances you find yourselves in.
Having the courage to start and end critical conversation takes plenty of skills and patience. By following these tips, any couple can learn to reconcile their differences, allowing them to attain personal and mutual fulfillment for years to come.
How to go forward?
Real-life communication is an essential key that allows yourself to open to a healthy relationship. The very core of communication in an intimate relationship is connecting to your loved ones with physical, verbal, and nonverbal skills to achieve mutual needs.
How Game are You? is a premium line of game cards that banks on ‘Real Life Conversations’ around money and intimacy to improve a couple’s relationship. We understand that talking about money and sex is something that many couples still find awkward and difficult to discuss.
This is why we designed this adult game cards to give couples a fun and enjoyable outlet to get that sizzling conversation rolling around sex, intimacy, and money–breaking the archaic stigma on societal judgment and prejudices. And yes! It’s all done in consensual fun since you can choose if you want to play each card or not, or share about yourself as much as you like.
If you want to have an amazing time connecting with your partner without going through the barriers of communication, then subscribe to our email newsletter below to receive the latest updates and promos on our Adult and Money Game Cards.